This month we countered the myths with truths and brainstormed with the parents.

Brainstorming Sessions With Facilitators and Parents

UW-Silicon-Valley-Vision-Voice-Grad-05.19.14-236x135Twenty parents just graduated from our six-day Vision and Voice Family Leadership Institute at Edenvale Head Start preschool in San Jose. One of the participants was a 71-year old woman raising her three great-grandchildren. Another was a father who works a night-time job while his wife works during the day so one or the other can care for their four young children. Most of the families were of “mixed” status meaning their children were born in the U.S. and the parents were seeking formal residency.

During day 2 of the training, the PSP facilitator drew a chart with the words “myths” and “truths” written at the top. He asked the group about rumors they heard about accessing benefits to which their children were eligible. The parents quickly responded with statements:

• If you get food stamps, you’ll have to pay it back when you’re children are 18.
• Your children will have to serve in the military if you get benefits.
• My children will belong to the state if we ask for help.

They then asked the facilitator what would happen to their children if they were deported. Would the children have citizenship rights? Who would care for them?

The facilitator countered the myths with truths and brainstormed with the parents about how they could ensure their children’s well-being in their absence. In the midst of sifting through the rumors and myths, the parents found the knowledge that brought more security for themselves and families. In their 6-day workshop, they came to see that their knowledge was power and they were leaders who could act on it.